‘Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back’
~ Harvey Mackay
There are 168 hours in a week. This is a fact that cannot be disputed. Often, however we can feel starved of time and unable to fit everything in.
How amazing would it be if we could fit in work, spending time with family and friends, pamper time, exercise and any other activity that is important to us?
What if we can? Maybe we just need to reallocate how we use our 168 hours. Maybe we can spend more time on the things we love and not have to make sacrifices.
To help you spend your time wisely I suggest following the 9 steps below:
1) Get planning
If you have lots of things you want to fit into your week it might be helpful to pull together a plan to figure out how to make it all happen. Once you have decided what it is you love doing, make sure you are spending as much time as you can on that. I find planning on a weekly basis really effective. You can sit down on a Sunday evening and organize how you can organize everything to fit into the week. I find the more effective my planning, the more I am able to schedule in and the best use of time I tend to make.
This can be one of the single biggest time savers there is. If you love watching your favourite box set, absolutely go for it. Just don’t spend hours aimlessly flicking from channel to channel, not able to find anything you particularly want to watch, complaining you have no time!
3) Work around your energy
If you’re a morning person, do all your most difficult tasks first thing in the morning, If you leave them until late afternoon, they’ll probably take you twice as long. If you’re a night owl, save the things that need extra focus until later. If you know when you have the most energy, planning round that can help you schedule tasks for the most appropriate time.
4) Adopt a ninja mindset
Have a think about how many of your 168 hours you waste wishing there were more hours in the day! It is quite common for people to procrastinate and put stuff off, wasting lots of time doing nothing. Another familiar phenomenon is telling yourself there isn’t enough time to start something new and then spending that time doing nothing. If you adopt a ninja mindset, you will waste no time procrastinating and be as productive as you possibly can be. How to Be a Productivity Ninja by Graham Allcott is one of the best books I have read on productivity and the author gives lots of practical tips on exactly how to adopt a ninja mindset.
5) Ask for help
You don’t need to be a superhero. There is no harm in asking for help when you need it. Help can take many forms such as cleaning, cooking, baby sitting, help at work, nursery drop off, whatever it might be that you are struggling to do. It can be tempting to try to ensure that you are in control of everything and that you need to do everything by yourself to prove that you are capable. Outsourcing your ‘to do’ list can be a great way to focus on the things you love and get other people to do the essential things, but those you don’t necessarily want or need to do yourself.
6) Say no
Sometimes we get into the habit of saying ‘yes’ to everything, regardless of whether we have the time or the inclination to actually do it. Rather than saying ‘yes’ without even thinking about it, take time to analyse if it is something you want to do and whether you have time to do it, or whether it will stress you out trying to fit it in. If not, practice saying no without offending anyone.
Living a minimalist lifestyle and not having loads of unnecessary possessions cluttering up your home can really save time in your life. You will not need to spend as much time shopping or cleaning, or searching for what you need through piles of clutter. You will be able to focus on the things really important in your life.
8) Try new things
You can add a bit of variety to your life by trying new things. If you spend some time researching, you will find so many options of things to do. It can be fun to try one new thing each week, or each month depending how adventurous you are. You can visit a new place, try a new skill, be a tourist in your own area and hunt out something you have not done before, cook a new meal or start a new hobby, the options are endless.
9) Make every day count
It is very easy to fall into the trap of living for the weekend. There are 168 hours in the week, so if you live for the weekend, you are writing off about 120 of them. It can be a good idea to plan one or two, (or more depending on your circumstances) fun things to look forward to in the week. What is fun for one person may be very different to the next person, but basically something that you will look forward to and stop you wishing the week away.
If you follow these steps above, you will hopefully find that you have time for everything you want to do, and you are no longer wishing time away, but living each week to the max.
I’d love to hear what tips you have to make the most of your time in the comments below